Lions Rumors: Kerryon Johnson Waived by Detroit After 2021 NFL Draft

Blake SchusterContributor IMay 6, 2021

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - DECEMBER 26: Kerryon Johnson #33 of the Detroit Lions runs for a first down during the first quarter of the game against Tampa Bay at Ford Field on December 26, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. Tampa defeated Detroit 47-7 (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions are waiving running back Kerryon Johnson, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. 

Dave Birkett @davebirkett

Drafted Jermar Jefferson in Round 7, makes Kerryon expendable https://t.co/W2JPqsVPTE

The former Auburn star who earned first-team All-SEC honors in 2017 was selected No. 43 overall by Detroit in 2018, but has struggled to establish himself in the NFL. In three seasons, Johnson rushed for 1,225 total yards and eight touchdowns on 283 attempts over 18 games. He also caught 61 passes for 527 yards and three touchdowns. 

the tailback now joins a free-agent market that already includes veterans Duke Johnson, Todd Gurley, Rex Burkhead, Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore, Le'Veon Bell and LeSean McCoy. 

Johnson's standing with Detroit took a hit when the Lions drafted tailback D'Andre Swift out of Georgia last year. With the franchise taking Oregon State's Jermar Jefferson in the seventh round this year, there was little use for Johnson. 

Detroit had the third-worst rushing offense in the league in 2020, averaging 93.7 yards per game with 17 touchdowns. 

Following the firing of head coach Matt Patrica and the hiring of Dan Campbell as his replacement, Johnson became expendable with the Lions retooling yet again. 

The Alabama native is just 23 years old and could provide teams with a value depth option, especially once training camps open and injuries begin to crop up around the league. 

For now, he hits unrestricted free agency and looks to find a new home as soon as possible.